Sunteți pe pagina 1din 9

G.R. No.

201427

TEOFILO B. ADOLFO, Petitioner,


vs.
FE T. ADOLFO, Respondent.

DECISION

DEL CASTILLO, J.:

This Petition for Review on Certiorari seeks to set aside: 1) the October 6, 2009 Decision of the
1 2

Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 01783 reversing the October 2, 2006 Order of the 3

Regional Trial Court, 7th Judicial Region, Mandaue City (RTC Mandaue), Branch 55 in Civil Case
No. MAN-4821; as well as 2) the CA's March 2, 2012 Resolution denying petitioner's Motion for
4

Reconsideration and Supplement thereto.


5 6

Civil Case No. MAN-4821

On April 14, 2004, petitioner Teofilo B. Adolfo filed with the RTC Mandaue a Petition for judicial
7

separation of property against his estranged wife, respondent Fe Adolfo, nee Tudtud. Docketed as
Civil Case No. MAN-4821 and assigned to Branch 55, the petition alleged that the parties were
married on November 26, 1966; that the union bore one child; that during the marriage, they
acquired through conjugal funds Lot 1087-A-2-E, a 3,652-square meter property in Brgy.
Cabancalan, Mandaue City, Cebu (the subject property) covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
(TCT) 18368; that later on, the parties separated due to irreconcilable differences; that since reunion
was no longer feasible, petitioner suggested a separation of the conjugal property, but respondent
adamantly refused; that respondent denied petitioners co-ownership of the subject property,
claiming the same as her paraphernal property; that several earnest efforts to amicably settle the
matter between them proved unavailing; and that a judicial separation of property is proper under the
circumstances and pursuant to Article 135(6) of the Family Code. Petitioner thus prayed that
8

judgment be rendered decreeing a separation of the conjugal property and the subdivision or sale
thereof, to the end of dividing the same or the proceeds thereof; and ordering respondent to pay
petitioner P50,000.00 as attorneys fees, appearance fees (P2,000.00 per hearing), and P20,000.00
litigation costs.

In her Answer with counterclaim, respondent contended that while she remained married to
9

petitioner, she is the sole owner of the subject property, the same being her paraphernal property
which she inherited from her mother; that petitioner is a lazy bum, gambler, drunkard, wife abuser,
and neglectful father; that respondent found all means to support the family even as petitioner
neglected it; that respondent bought on installment a tricycle for the petitioners use in business, but
he kept the proceeds thereof to himself and used the same in his gambling and drinking sprees; that
respondent alone took the initiative to support the family and found ways to take care of the daily
needs of her child; that she caused to be built on a portion of her mothers land a house even while
petitioner was bumming around; that one day, petitioner destroyed the roof of the house that was
then being built; that petitioner subsequently abandoned her and their child in 1968, and transferred
to Davao City where he took a mistress and begot four children by her; that in 1986, petitioner
returned to Cebu City seeking reconciliation with respondent; that respondent took petitioner back,
but in 1987 they once more separated; that thereafter, respondent never again saw or heard from
petitioner.
Respondent claimed in her Answer that the subject property was a portion of a bigger lot (mother lot)
owned by her mother Petronila Tudtud which was covered by TCT T-15941. On October 11, 1967,
her mother executed a quitclaim deed transferring a portion of the mother lot the subject property
to respondent. The mother title TCT T-15941 was then cancelled and a new one, TCT (17216)-
5415, was issued in respondents name. Respondent then sold the subject property to her brother
on January 19, 1968, and a new TCT (17833)-5515 was issued in her brothers name. Her brother
then mortgaged the property to Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), which foreclosed on the
same. TCT 18231 was issued in DBPs name. DBP then sold the property to the spouses Antonio
and Lucy Garcia (the Garcias), and TCT 18266 was in turn issued in their name. Finally, on May 25,
1983, the Garcias sold back the subject property to respondent, and a new title TCT 18368 was
10

then issued in the name of respondent "FE M. TUDTUD, x x x married to Teofilo Adolfo."

Respondent argued that she is the sole owner of the subject property, the same being her
paraphernal property which she alone redeemed from the Garcias; that the inclusion of petitioners
name in TCT 18368 does not make him a co- owner of the property, but was merely necessary to
describe respondents civil status; and that under Article 135 of the Civil Code, all property brought
11

by the wife to the marriage as well as all property she acquires during the marriage in accordance
with Article 148 of the same Code constitutes paraphernal property.
12

Respondent thus prayed that the petition be dismissed. By way of counterclaim, she sought the
payment of moral, exemplary, and nominal damages, attorneys fees, and litigation expenses.

Civil Case No. MAN-2683

In 1996, respondents sister Florencia Tudtud and her husband Juanito Gingoyon (the Gingoyons)
filed a case for partition with damages against respondent. The case was docketed as Civil Case No.
MAN-2683 and raffled to Branch 55 of the RTC Mandaue. The Complaint therein alleged that in
13

1988, respondent executed a deed of sale in favor of the Gingoyons over a 300-square meter
portion of the subject property, but that respondent refused to partition/subdivide the same even after
the Gingoyons paid the taxes, fees and expenses of the sale. For her defense, respondent claimed
in her Answer that when the sale to the Gingoyons was made, the subject property constituted
14

conjugal property of her marriage with petitioner; that as early as 1983, or when the Garcias
executed the deed of sale in her favor, the subject property became a conjugal asset; since
petitioner did not sign the deed of sale in favor of the Gingoyons as he was in Davao at the time and
knew nothing about the sale, the sale was null and void.

On May 15, 2002, the trial court rendered its Decision in Civil Case No. MAN-2683, declaring that
15

the subject property constituted conjugal property of the marriage. It thus nullified the 1988 deed of
sale executed by respondent in favor of the Gingoyons for lack of consent on the part of petitioner,
citing Article 124 of the Family Code. The trial court likewise awarded moral and exemplary
16

damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses in favor of the respondent in the total amount of
P107,000.00.

The Gingoyons filed an appeal with the CA, which was docketed as CA- G.R. CV No. 78971.

Motion for Judgment Based on the Pleadings in Civil Case No. MAN-4821
Meanwhile, during the pre-trial conference in Civil Case No. MAN-4821, petitioner submitted as part
of his evidence and for marking certified true copies of the Gingoyons Complaint in Civil Case No.
MAN-2683, respondents Answer thereto, and the trial courts May 15, 2002 Decision in said case.

On August 1, 2005, petitioner filed a Request for Admission of 1) the genuineness of the duly
17

marked certified true copies of the Complaint, Answer, and Decision in Civil Case No. MAN-2683
(Exhibits "F," "G" and "H," respectively); 2) respondents declaration in said Answer that the subject
property constituted conjugal property of the marriage; and 3) the trial courts pronouncement in said
case that the subject property forms part of the conjugal estate.

Respondent failed to file her answer or response to the request for admission.

On September 5, 2005, petitioner filed a Motion for Judgment Based on the Pleadings, stating that
18

since respondent failed to answer his request for admission, the matters contained in the request are
deemed admitted pursuant to Rule 26, Section 2 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure (1997 Rules);
19

that as a consequence of the application of the rule, respondent is in effect considered to have
admitted that the subject property is a conjugal asset of their subsisting marriage which may thus be
the subject of his petition for judicial separation of property; and that on account of said admission, a
hearing on the merits becomes unnecessary and, instead, Rule 34 of the 1997 Rules on judgments
20

on the pleadings should apply. Petitioner thus prayed that the trial court render judgment in his favor
based on the pleadings.

Respondent filed an Opposition. In her Opposition to Plaintiffs Memorandum, respondent argued


21 22

among others that the request for admission was premature considering that the decision in Civil
Case No. MAN-2683 was the subject of an appeal, and thus not yet final.

In an October 11, 2005 Order, the trial court directed the transfer of Civil Case No. MAN-4821 to
23

Branch 55 of the RTC Mandaue, since it is said court which decided the closely related Civil Case
No. MAN-2683.

On October 2, 2006, Branch 55 issued an Order granting petitioners motion for judgment on the
24

pleadings. It held as follows:

This court has painstakingly exerted effort in going over the record and took serious note of all the
pleadings, documents and others on file. After serious consideration, the court believes and so holds
that there is basis in rendering judgment. The Motion for Judgment Based on the Pleadings though
denominated as such but [sic] shall be treated as a move to seek summary judgment. x x x

xxxx

The court in arriving at this resolution was guided by the following pronouncements by the Supreme
Court in the case of Diman vs. Alumbres, G.R. No. 131466, November 27, 1998, 299 SCRA 459 x x
x:

xxxx

In the same case, it was held


"It is also the law which determines when a summary judgment is proper. It declares that although
the pleadings on their face appear to raise issues of fact e.g., there are denials of, or a conflict in,
factual allegations if it is shown by admissions, depositions or affidavits, that those issues are
sham, fictitious, or not genuine, or, in the language of the Rules, that except as to the amount of
damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law, the Court shall render a summary judgment for the plaintiff or the
defendant, as the case may be. (Italics and underscoring supplied)

On the other hand, in the case of a summary judgment[,] issues apparently exist i.e.. facts are
asserted in the complaint regarding which there is as yet no admission, disavowal or qualification; or
specific denials or affirmative defenses are in truth set out in the answer but the issues thus arising
from the pleadings are sham, fictitious, not genuine, as shown by [affidavits], depositions or
admissions. In other words, as a noted authority remarks, a judgment on the pleadings is a judgment
on the facts as pleaded, while a summary judgment is a judgment on the facts as summarily proven
by affidavits, depositions or admissions." (Italics and underscoring supplied)

xxxx

Defendant did not file any verified answer or a pleading denying under oath the genuineness and
25

authenticity of the documents attached to the Request for Admission and of the other matters therein
set forth. This failure has far reaching implications in that the following are deemed admitted: a) the
genuineness of Exhibits F, G and H, all attached to the Request for Admission; b) that she admitted
in paragraph 10 in her Answer to Civil Case No. MAN-2683 that Lot 1087-A-2-E was no longer
paraphernal property but rather a conjugal property of Spouses Teofilo and Fe Adolfo and; c) that
RTC, Branch 55, Mandaue City, sustained and/or held the view of defendant (Fe Tudtud) that Lot
1087-A-2-E is a conjugal property of Spouses Teofilo and Fe Adolfo, thus, dismissed Civil Case No.
MAN-2683 and awarded damages to the defendant.

Judicial admissions may be made in (a) the pleadings filed by the parties,

(b) in the course of the trial either by verbal or written manifestations or stipulations, or (c) in other
stages of the judicial proceeding, as in the pre-trial of the case. Admissions obtained through
depositions, written interrogatories or requests for admission are also considered judicial
admissions." Page 686, Remedial Law Compendium, Vol. II, 9th Rev. Ed., Regalado

With the admission that Lot 1087-A-2-E is a conjugal property, it follows as its necessary and logical
consequence, that plaintiff is entitled to the relief demanded.
26

xxxx

A DECISION in Civil Case No. MAN-2683 had already been rendered by RTC, Branch 55, on the
15th day of May 2002 with the court finding that Lot 1087-A-2-E is a conjugal property x x x

xxxx

For reason[s] of expediency and convenience, the court may even take judicial notice of its earlier
decision finding Lot 1087-A-2-E as a conjugal property. 27

xxxx
Under the circumstances, judicial separation of property is proper. Aware that the separation has the
effect of a dissolution of the conjugal partnership property regime, the presumptive legitime of Nilo
Adolfo (the only common child of the spouses) has to be delivered in accordance with Article 51 in
relation to paragraph (8) Article 127 and Article 137 of the Family Code of the Philippines.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered directing the partition of Lot
1087-A-2-E between the plaintiff and the defendant in equal share of what remains after allocating to
Nilo Adolfo a portion of Nine hundred thirteen (913) square meters representing his presumptive
legitime.

The plaintiff is directed to submit to this court the proposed subdivision plan for its consideration
before submitting the same for approval to the Bureau of Lands.

In case of disagreement as to their respective location, the same shall be done through raffle to be
conducted by the sheriff who shall see to it that judgment in this case shall be fully implemented.

SO ORDERED. 28

Respondent instituted an appeal with the CA, which was docketed as CA- G.R. CV No. 01783.

Court of Appeals Decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971

Meanwhile, on May 30, 2007, the CA rendered its Decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971. It reversed
29

the May 15, 2002 Decision of the trial court in Civil Case No. MAN-2683. It declared, among others,
that the subject property was respondents paraphernal property. Thus, it held:

Proceeding from the foregoing consideration, the finding that Lot No. 1087-A-2-E is a conjugal
property does not have any basis, hence, does not have any merit at all. On the contrary, plaintiffs-
appellants sufficiently proved that the aforesaid lot was defendant-appellees paraphernal property
30 31

as the latter even admitted that she inherited the same from her mother although she claimed it as a
conjugal property based on the TCTs attached to her answer. Another strong indication that Lot No.
1087-A-2-E is solely owned by defendant-appellee is the fact that in another case (Civil Case No.
MAN-2008) involving the same property and the same parties but for a different issue (road right of
way), defendant-appellee alone signed the compromise agreement ceding a portion of the subject
lot as a right of way perpetually open and unobstructed for the benefit of plaintiffs-appellants,
defendant-appellee, their respective heirs, assigns and transferees and guests. The same
compromise agreement which became the decision of the case attained finality without defendant-
appellee questioning the absence of her husbands signature.

xxxx

WHEREFORE, prescinding from the foregoing premises, the appeal is hereby GRANTED and the
Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City, Branch 55, dated 15 May 2002, in Civil Case
No. MAN-2683 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Let the partition of Lot No. 1087-A-2-E consisting of 300 square meters bought by plaintiffs-
appellants from defendant-appellee be done in accordance to [sic] the sketch plan executed for that
purpose.
SO ORDERED. 32

On June 23, 2007, the above CA decision became final and executory. 33

Ruling of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 01783

In CA-G.R. CV No. 01783, respondent filed her Appellants Brief, where she argued that the trial
34

court erred in issuing its October 2, 2006 Order directing the partition or sale of the subject property;
that it was error for the trial court to take judicial notice of its own judgment in Civil Case No. MAN-
2683 and thus declare that the subject property is conjugal, since the issue of whether it constitutes
conjugal or paraphernal property was still pending in the appeal in CA- G.R. CV No. 78971; that
since the proceedings in Civil Case No. MAN-2683 have not been terminated and the issue
regarding the character of the subject property has not been resolved with finality, then petitioners
resort to a request for admission and motion for judgment on the pleadings was premature; and that
with the May 30, 2007 Decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971, petitioner and the trial court should
submit to the finding therein that the subject property is her paraphernal property.

In his Appellees Brief, petitioner insisted that the trial court did not err in treating his motion for
35

judgment on the pleadings as one for summary judgment; that respondents Answer in Civil Case
No. MAN-2683 constituted a judicial admission that the subject property was a conjugal asset, which
required no further proof; that respondents failure to reply to his written request for admission also
resulted in the acknowledgment that the subject property is a conjugal asset; that the trial court
correctly took judicial notice of the proceedings in Civil Case No. MAN-2683, as they were relevant
and material to the resolution of Civil Case No. MAN-4821; that since it was not respondent who
appealed the May 15, 2002 decision in Civil Case No. MAN-2683, then the finding therein that the
subject property is conjugal should bind her; and that the CAs eventual finding in CA- G.R. CV No.
78971 that the subject lot was respondents paraphernal property cannot bind him because he was
not a party to Civil Case No. MAN-2683.

On October 6, 2009, the CA issued the assailed Decision containing the following decretal portion:

WHEREFORE, based from the foregoing premises, the Order of the Regional Trial Court, Branch
55, Mandaue City, in Civil Case No. MAN-4821, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the
records of this case are remanded to RTC (Branch 55), Mandaue City, for further proceedings.

SO ORDERED. 36

In arriving at the above conclusion, the CA held that the trial court cannot treat petitioners motion for
judgment on the pleadings as one for summary judgment. It stated that in a proper case for
judgment on the pleadings, there are no ostensible issues at all on account of the defending partys
failure to raise an issue in his answer, while in a proper case for summary judgment, such issues
exist, although they are sham, fictitious, or not genuine as shown by affidavits, depositions or
admissions. In other words, a judgment on the pleadings is a judgment on the facts as pleaded,
while a summary judgment is a judgment on the facts as summarily proved by affidavits, depositions,
or admissions. It added that respondents Answer appeared on its face to tender an issue; it
37

disputed petitioners claim that the subject property is their conjugal property. The next thing to be
determined is whether this issue is fictitious or sham as to justify a summary judgment.
The CA added that although respondent was bound by the resulting admission prompted by her
failure to reply to petitioners request for admission, her claims and documentary exhibits clearly
contradict what petitioner sought to be admitted in his request; that the trial court disregarded the
fact that the issue of whether the subject property is conjugal was still unresolved as CA-G.R. CV
No. 78971 was still pending; and that finally, the trial court should have been guided by the principles
that trial courts have but limited authority to render summary judgments and that summary
judgments should not be rendered hastily. 38

Petitioner moved to reconsider, but in a March 2, 2012 Resolution, he was rebuffed. Hence, the
present Petition was filed on April 30, 2012.

In a March 20, 2013 Resolution, the Court resolved to give due course to the instant Petition.
39
1wphi1

Issue

Petitioner now claims that the Court of Appeals erred in deciding the case on a question of
substance not in accord with law, Rule 26 of the 1997 Rules, and applicable jurisprudence. 40

Petitioners Arguments

In his Petition seeking to reverse and set aside the assailed CA dispositions and thus reinstate the
October 2, 2006 Order of the trial court, petitioner insists that respondents failure to reply to his
written request for admission resulted in her admitting that the subject property is a conjugal asset,
applying Rule 26, Section 2 of the 1997 Rules; that the CA grossly erred in disregarding the rule; that
with the resulting admission, there remains no genuine issue to be resolved in Civil Case No. MAN-
4821, such that judgment based on the pleadings is proper. Finally, petitioner adds that respondents
trifling with the law and rules of procedure by conveniently claiming in one case that the subject
property is conjugal, and then in another that it is paraphernal should not be countenanced; she
should be held to her original declaration that the subject property is conjugal.

Respondents Arguments

In her Comment, respondent counters that, as correctly ruled by the CA, petitioner elected the
41

wrong remedy in filing a motion for judgment on the pleadings when he should have moved for
summary judgment; that in a motion for judgment on the pleadings, the movant is deemed to admit
the truth of all of the opposing partys material and relevant allegations, and rest his motion on those
allegations taken together with that of his own as are admitted in the pleadings; that the effect of
42

this is that petitioner is deemed to have admitted that the subject property is paraphernal, as claimed
in her Answer; that with the final and executory May 30, 2007 Decision of the CA in CA-G.R. CV No.
78971, the subject property should now be considered as her paraphernal property, and petitioners
case for partition on the claim that the subject property is conjugal should be dismissed for being
moot and academic.

Our Ruling

The Court denies the Petition.

Judgment on the pleadings is proper "where an answer fails to tender an issue, or otherwise admits
the material allegations of the adverse partys pleading." Summary judgment, on the other hand, will
43
be granted "if the pleadings, supporting affidavits, depositions, and admissions on file, show that,
except as to the amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law."44

We have elaborated on the basic distinction between summary judgment and judgment on the
pleadings, thus:

The existence or appearance of ostensible issues in the pleadings, on the one hand, and their sham
or fictitious character, on the other, are what distinguish a proper case for summary judgment from
one for a judgment on the pleadings. In a proper case for judgment on the pleadings, there is no
ostensible issue at all because of the failure of the defending partys answer to raise an issue. On
the other hand, in the case of a summary judgment, issues apparently exist-i.e. facts are asserted in
the complaint regarding which there is as yet no admission, disavowal or qualification; or specific
denials or affirmative defenses are in truth set out in the answer-but the issues thus arising from the
pleadings are sham, fictitious or not genuine, as shown by affidavits, depositions, or admissions. 45

An answer would "fail to tender an issue" if it "does not deny the material allegations in the complaint
or admits said material allegations of the adverse partys pleadings by confessing the truthfulness
thereof and/or omitting to deal with them at all. Now, if an answer does in fact specifically deny the
material averments of the complaint and/or asserts affirmative defenses (allegations of new matter
which, while admitting the material allegations of the complaint expressly or impliedly, would
nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by the plaintiff), a judgment on the pleadings would naturally be
improper."46

On the other hand, "whether x x x the issues raised by the Answer are genuine is not the crux of
inquiry in a motion for judgment on the pleadings. It is so only in a motion for summary judgment. In
a case for judgment on the pleadings, the Answer is such that no issue is raised at all. The essential
question in such a case is whether there are issues generated by the pleadings." "A genuine issue
47

is an issue of fact which requires the presentation of evidence as distinguished from a sham,
fictitious, contrived or false claim. When the facts as pleaded appear uncontested or undisputed,
then there is no real or genuine issue or question as to the facts, and summary judgment is called
for."
48

In rendering summary judgment, the trial court relied on respondents failure to reply to petitioners
request for admission, her admission in Civil Case No. MAN-2683, as well as its May 15, 2002
Decision declaring that the subject property is a conjugal asset. It took judicial notice of the
proceedings in said case. While there is nothing irregular with this as courts may "take judicial
notice of a decision or the facts prevailing in another case sitting in the same court if (1) the parties
present them in evidence, absent any opposition from the other party; or (2) the court, in its
discretion, resolves to do so" the trial court however disregarded the fact that its decision was
49

then the subject of a pending appeal in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971. It should have known that until the
appeal is resolved by the appellate court, it would be premature to render judgment on petitioners
motion for judgment on the pleadings; that it would be presumptuous to assume that its own decision
would be affirmed on appeal. One of the issues raised in the appeal is precisely whether the subject
property is conjugal, or a paraphernal asset of the respondent. Thus, instead of resolving petitioners
motion for judgment on the pleadings, the trial court should have denied it or held it in abeyance. It
should have guided petitioner to this end, instead of aiding in the hasty resolution of his case. In the
first place, Civil Case No. MAN-4821 was transferred to it from Branch 56 precisely for the reason
that it was the court which tried the closely related Civil Case No. MAN-2683.
Even if respondent is deemed to have admitted the matters contained in petitioners request for
admission by her failure to reply thereto, the trial court should have considered the pending appeal in
CA-G.R. CV No. 78971. It cannot take judicial notice solely of the proceedings in Civil Case No.
MAN-2683, and ignore the appeal in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971. After all, CA-G.R. CV No. 78971 is
merely a continuation of Civil Case No. MAN-2683; an appeal is deemed a continuation of the same
case commenced in the lower court. 50

On the part of petitioner, it must be said that he could not have validly resorted to a motion for
judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment. While it may appear that under Rules 34 and 35 of
the 1997 Rules, he may file a motion for judgment on the pleadings or summary judgment as a result
of the consequent admission by respondent that the subject property is conjugal, this is not actually
the case. Quite the contrary, by invoking the proceedings and decision in Civil Case No. MAN-2683,
petitioner is precluded from obtaining judgment while the appeal in said case is pending, because
the result thereof determines whether the subject property is indeed conjugal or paraphernal. He
may not preempt the appeal in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971.

While it is true that a judgment cannot bind persons who are not parties to the action, petitioner
51

cannot, after invoking the proceedings in Civil Case No. MAN-2683 to secure affirmative relief
against respondent and thereafter failing to obtain such relief, be allowed to repudiate or question
the CAs ruling in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971. The principle of estoppel bars him from denying the
resultant pronouncement by the appellate court, which became final and executory, that the subject
property is respondents paraphernal property. "In estoppel, a person, who by his deed or conduct
has induced another to act in a particular manner, is barred from adopting an inconsistent position,
attitude or course of conduct that thereby causes loss or injury to another. It further bars him from
denying the truth of a fact which has, in the contemplation of law, become settled by the acts and
proceeding of judicial or legislative officers or by the act of the party himself, either by conventional
writing or by representations, express or implied or in pais."
52

Finally, the Court notes that the appellate court overlooked the May 30, 2007 Decision in CA-G.R.
CV No. 78971, which became final and executory on June 23 , 2007. The respondent included this
development in her appellee's brief, but the CA did not take it into account. As an unfortunate
consequence, the case was not appreciated and resolved completely.

Thus, with the development in Civil Case No. MAN-2683 brought upon by the final and executory
decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 78971 , petitioner's case is left with no leg to stand on. There being no
conjugal property to be divided between the parties, Civil Case No. MAN-4821 must be dismissed.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The October 6, 2009 Decision and March 2, 2012 Resolution
of the Court ofAppeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 01783 are AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION in that Civil
Case No. MAN-4821 is ordered DISMISSED.

SO ORDERED.